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Are you a business owner or doer?

Are you a business owner or doer?

November 02, 2017

I have a serious question for you. It might make you squirm a little, but I’ve seen too many people make too many big mistakes to not ask you this question.

It’s a question that many entrepreneurs are too afraid to ask themselves or answer honestly. But it's perhaps the single most important question if you’re looking to thrive personally and professionally.

You ready?

Are you a Business Doer or a Business Owner?

What do I mean? Are you “An Expert in XYZ who happens to own a business” OR are you a “businessman who owns an XYZ company”?

What’s the real difference between the two and why does it matter?

Let’s look at a Business Doer.

Let’s say you own a law firm.

You went to law school, did well, passed the bar, and congratulations, you’re a lawyer. You started practicing law and fell in love with it. You did so well and became so sought after that you decided to grow. You started hiring and before you knew it you had your own successful law firm.

But also before you knew it, you found yourself doing less and less of what you loved to begin with, practicing law, and more and more HR, finances, and all of the slew of management that comes with running your own company.

But you really love practicing law! You get a thrill in the courtroom, not in the marketing meeting.

If when it comes down to it, you just want to be a lawyer (or fill in the blank), you will find yourself perpetually frustrated and unsatisfied with running a company. Because to run a successful company, you can’t do it all yourself.

You’ll forever be longing to do the actual case work yourself (let’s be honest, you do it better than anyone else), constantly micromanaging your team and resisting the important strategic jobs and leadership associated with your title: Partner, CEO or the equivalent.

If I’m writing your life story, listen up. You need to make a choice.

Are you going to be a Business Doer, in which case you’ll have to make some changes to how you're running your company, or are you going to consciously and proactively switch to being Business Owner?

Now let me be clear. Being a Business Doer is ok! There’s absolutely nothing wrong with it. Picasso was amazing at what he did. But he didn’t attempt to scale it. There was just one Picasso. Acknowledge it and embrace it. It’s not a crisis that you prefer to be hands on and roll up your sleeves to get the work done. The crisis occurs when you think you can run a business that way.

If you’re happy to be a Business Doer, you have two choices:

1. Scale Down

Scaling down can look like a complete overhaul of the current business or more minor changes to your current business model. But the end-goal is to get small enough so you can do the bulk of the work yourself.

Maybe you’ll take on only high-level clients to make it financially successful. Maybe you’re at a stage where you’re ready to start cutting back on your hours and can afford smaller revenue stream. Maybe you shift the focus away from growing the company and devote your extra time to the clients or projects that you really enjoy. Whatever it is, you cut back unnecessary operations, staff and clients to enable you to get in there and do it yourself.

2. Bring on a CEO

For some business owners, scaling down may feel like too much of a shift. They’d rather pivot by agreeing to do the work but bring on someone else to manage the business. In that case, you’ll have to start interviewing for a partner or a CEO. This new partner will take over the day-to-day operation of the business, freeing you up to do what you love most.


Now for all of you Business Owners out there...

If you’re ready to be a Business Owner and build a scalable asset, the first step to take is embrace delegation. Not just do it, but embrace it. It’s the only way you can grow and build a sustainable asset.

You are a strategic leader, or as one Brand Launcher client put it, “I’m a mentor to my team.” Your goal is to lead and empower your Freedom Team and create Freedom Systems to run the company for you.

Now to make it real.

Here’s a 4-Part Crash Course on Delegation:

STEP 1: Prioritize. Take a piece of paper draw 2 columns with the titles “Important and Urgent” and “Important and NOT Urgent”. List 5 items on your plate for this next quarter and place them into one of those categories. If you’re list most business owners, you likely find that many of your tasks fall into the Important and Urgent category. That’s normal, but as a strategic leader, we want to free you up for all of those Important and NOT Urgent tasks.

Choose 1 task that is Important and Urgent that someone else can do or be trained to do.

[Download the full One Page Delegation Plan and Worksheet here.]

STEP 2: Recruit

Find someone internally or externally who can do this job. That doesn’t mean he or she can do it tomorrow or even in a week from now, but find someone who has the capability and “coachability” to do it.

STEP 3: Train

Think of yourself a pilot and the trainee as the co-pilot. Show him or her the ropes, then switch. Pretend to be the co-pilot as he or she takes the reins and actually does the job. Observe and coach in real-time.

STEP 4: Feedback

Give and be open to receiving real feedback. The faster, more frequent and more specific the better. Focus on what went well and what didn’t. Ask yourselves how the training process can be improved.

[Download the full One Page Delegation Plan and Worksheet here.]

Bottom line- if you try to do everything, you’ll achieve nothing. Take a moment and make a choice. It’s not a simple decision or an easy question to answer, but if you’re looking to thrive personally and professionally, it’s a must. Are you a Business Doer or a Business Owner?

Taking you from where you are to where you want to be,